tools for prototype

Think of the word prototype and immediately what springs to mind is probably some beautifully crafted professionally made first version of your invention. What I have learned from most of my research is that this is not always necessary, especially if you are looking to license your idea rather than manufacture it yourself. I also put together a post on lots of different methods of making a home made prototype that I have discovered (I have not tried them all).

When I have had ideas, I have tested them out with bits of card, plumbing pipe (my favourite) and realised that in fact my original idea didn’t quite work as expected or having done further research something similar existed. The good thing is it got the idea out if my system before I spent too much time on a dud.

Through reading and interviewing inventors I have also learned how they have made, or had made for them prototypes if their inventions. One of them most unusual methods I read about a little while ago was an inventor commissioning a dentist to create him a prototype with their mould making equipment, though what the product was has now slipped my mind.

Below are a few of the methods how some of the inventors I have interviewed have prototyped their inventions:

A hammer/mallet prototype made with a home made mould

Johnny Smith created his first prototype for the Hammer Bumber by using a foam cup as a mould and filling it with a rubber like solution.

Read the full inventor interview

A prototype of a wrist water bottle made of clay

Julie Austin inventor of Swiggies created her first wrist water bottle prototype using clay.

Listen to the full inventor interview

First prototypes for marker with erasers made with felt and then with clay

Julia Rhodes inventor of Kleenslate dry eraser markers with erasers on the end made her first prototypes using the felt meant for the feet of furniture.

Listen to the full inventor interview

Undisclosed invention prototype created with the aid of a local university

Lyndsey Young, The Queen of Easy Green enlisted the help of a local university to help create a prototype and do patent research for one of her recent (not publicly disclosed) inventions.

Listen to the full inventor interview

Toy prototypes made from breaking apart existing toys

Tony Ellis from Conceptioneering is a toy inventor and has used existing toys pulled apart to create a prototype for a new product idea.

Read the full inventor interview

A prototype built from various barbecue tools

Peter Wachtel broke apart various barbecue tools and stuck them together to create a prototype for new all in one barbecue tool. In his inventor interview he also mentioned that he uses parts from other toys and from the hardware store.

Listen to the full inventor interview

Award winning product designer starts off prototyping with cardboard

Professional Product Designer Damian Evans explains in his inventor interview how he often starts off by building models out of cardboard.

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Prototype for making a child carrier made from parts from an army surplus store

Wayne Lifshitz inventor of the PiggyBack Rider used parts he and his brothers purchased from the local hardware and army surplus store to create their first prototypes.

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Toy prototype made from a simple water spray bottle

Mary Ellroy from Gamebird is a toy inventor and agent who prototyped one of her toy ideas for a rainbow creator with a simple water spray bottle. She also strongly advises the use of video to set up a scene so it looks like your prototype is working and fulfilling it’s function.

Listen to the full inventor interview

First prototype for pet hydration made from a dog waste bag

Cesar Belmonte co-inventor of the Nina Dog made their first rough prototype from a clean doggie waste-bag filled with clean water and tied it to the leash

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A Prototype for a Camera pole mount system made from mechano like construction kit

Jim Polster create his first prototypes for his camera mount system from mechano like construction kit

Listen to the full inventor interview

What have you used to make your invention prototypes?